Australia registered a record trade surplus in May, underlining the continuing economic dividends the nation’s strong export sector is delivering.

The May trade surplus reached $5.7 billion, surpassing the previous monthly record of $5.4 billion in February 2019, according to new data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australia’s five largest trade surpluses have all been recorded in 2019.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the result demonstrated the Government’s long-term commitment to promoting free trade and open markets for Australian businesses.

“Our export performance continues to go from strength-to-strength, with record levels of total goods ($33.2 billion) and services ($8.3 billion) exports,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Greater access to overseas markets is delivering benefits across our economy, with one in five Australians working in a trade-related job.

“Our export success has be fuelled by the Government having trade agreements with Japan, Korea, China and the TPP-11 countries in recent years, and we will continue efforts to expand access to international markets for Australian farmers and businesses.

“In light of the trade tensions between the US and China and a slowdown in world trade, it is pleasing to see our exporters continuing to weather global storms, with 17 consecutive trade surpluses and a new monthly record trade surplus.

“But now is not the time to put a handbrake on Australia’s exports. Instead we need to capitalise on our successes by continuing to reduce trade barriers and lower tariffs for Australian exporters.

“That is why I call on the Labor Party to publicly support the Indonesian, Hong Kong and Peru free trade agreements, which will provide more opportunities for Australian businesses and exporters.”

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